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Can dogs eat peanut butter? The answer is not that simple.
Just because peanut butter is xylitol-free doesn’t mean it’s good for your dog. Even dog-friendly peanut butter contains ingredients that have been linked to heart disease and obesity. There’s no doubt most dogs love this sticky snack. But is peanut butter good for dogs?
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about dogs and peanut butter, including the best peanut butter for dogs, how much they can eat, benefits, risks, and everything in between. Let’s get started!
- Is Peanut Butter Good?
- Is Peanut Butter Toxic?
- Xylitol & Peanut Butter
- Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
- Is Peanut Butter Bad For Dogs?
- Dog Peanut Butter Allergies
- Can Puppies Eat Peanut Butter?
- Can Dogs Eat Human Peanut Butter?
- At What Age Can Dogs Eat It?
- Dogs That Shouldn’t Eat Peanut Butter
Is Peanut Butter Good For Dogs?
Peanut butter can be good for dogs as long as it’s dog-friendly peanut butter or is made of safe ingredients. Peanut butter can be a good source of protein for your pup and also contains heart-healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E.
However, this may not apply to many commercial brands of peanut butter that contain various added ingredients, such as sugar, additives, vegetable oils, and even trans fats. For peanut butter to be good for your dog, you need to make sure it adheres to the following recommendations by professionals.
Dr. Susan Wynn, a veterinary nutritionist and specialist in integrative medicine with BluePearl Georgia Veterinary Specialists, says, “if you are going [to give peanut butter to your dog], it should only have peanuts, salt, and maybe sugar. Make sure it doesn’t have Xylitol.”
Xylitol is not the only common toxic ingredient found in commercial peanut butter you need to watch out for. Before explaining what those ingredients are, learn about the four types of peanut butter you are most likely to encounter when shopping for this sticky snack.
What Kind of Peanut Butter Is Good For Dogs?
These are the four most common types of peanut butter options for dogs.
Peanut Butter Safe For Dogs
What type of peanut butter is the safest and healthiest for dogs?
You want your dog’s peanut butter to be as natural as possible with the least amount of additives, preservatives, and chemicals.
|Ingredients||Regular Commercial||Natural (Organic)||Dog-Friendly||Homemade|
|Mono & Diglycerides|
|Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils|
|Salt||Depends on the brand|
|Natural oil (palm oil)||Depends on the brand|
Are Peanut Butter Ingredients Safe For Dogs? Toxic?
Added ingredients in peanut butter can cause unwanted side effects.
We’ve broken down the most common ingredients in regular commercial peanut butter, so you know which ingredients to watch for next time you shop for a peanut butter jar for your furry friend.
Dog Peanut Butter & Xylitol
The one peanut butter ingredient your dog should avoid at all costs is “Xylitol.” Xylitol is a common sugar substitute in many items, including toothpaste, gum, and peanut butter. While Xylitol is safe for people, it can be deadly to dogs. [There are currently five known peanut butter manufacturers adding xylitol to their products.
According to Korinn Saker, associate professor of nutrition at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine,
Xylitol is toxic to dogs because, once consumed, it stimulates the pancreas to release insulin. The surge of insulin into the dog’s bloodstream causes hypoglycemia, a profound drop in blood sugar levels that, in turn, results in weakness, disorientation, tremors, and potential seizures.
Severe hypoglycemia can be life-threatening if untreated. When a dog consumes xylitol, insulin is rapidly released, which can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar. At higher doses, it can also cause acute liver failure.
What Peanut Butter Brands Have Xylitol?
These are known peanut butter brands containing xylitol, which you should avoid when shopping for peanut butter for dogs.
More may spring up, so always read the labels carefully. The letters “XYL” are a synonym for xylitol.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center recommends being on the lookout for the combination of the letters “XYZ” in any ingredient found in peanut butter or other foods you are thinking about feeding your dog.
According to the ASPCA, here is a list of a few xylitol-derived words you should avoid:
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
Yes, dogs can eat peanut butter only if your peanut butter of choice meets the following criteria.
- Your dog’s peanut butter is xylitol-free.
- No artificial sweeteners or sugars (sucrose caramel, corn syrup molasses)
- It’s free from mono and diglycerides
- It’s free from hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats)
- Free from palm oil
If your dog’s peanut butter contains one or more of the above ingredients, switching brands is best to keep Fido safe.
Don’t be fooled by a label that says “natural” or “organic.” These so-called healthier peanut butter alternative brands can also contain these undesired ingredients.
Peanut Butter Dogs Can Eat
The ideal peanut butter for dogs should contain only peanuts. However, a little salt or sugar may also be acceptable and safe. The healthiest option is unsalted (no sugar) homemade peanut butter. Unfortunately, not every dog parent has the time to make peanut butter at home.
Dr. Wynn says the best alternative is to give peanut butter treats marketed explicitly for dogs. Wynn says those products are “generally okay because animal nutritionists formulate them.”
Fortunately, plenty of dog-friendly, store-bought peanut butter brands are safe and free from all those unwanted ingredients we mentioned before.
Health Benefits of Dog Peanut Butter
Is peanut butter healthy for dogs? According to pet insurance company Trupanion, most peanut butter is safe for dogs to eat and is an excellent source of:
While this tasty treat can benefit your dog, moderation is key.
Is Peanut Butter Bad For Dogs?
Peanut butter in excess can be bad. Too much peanut butter can result in pancreatitis and obesity.
To prevent the adverse side effects of peanut butter, limit the amount of peanut butter you give your dog by following our feeding guidelines. Also, stick to following our recommendations for picking peanut butter for dogs. If your dog is crazy about peanut butter, they can eat it in moderation as long as you carefully check the ingredients and run it by your veterinarian first.
Aside from those unwanted ingredients in peanut butter for dogs, you should be aware of potentially dangerous essential aspects of this popular spread.
Possible Side Effects & Risks of Peanut Butter In Dogs
The following symptoms may indicate a bad reaction to peanut butter. Keep an eye of for them and contact your vet if necessary.
Dog Peanut Butter Allergy
Are dogs allergic to peanut butter? They could, but peanut butter allergies rarely happen in dogs.
If allergies occur, they may result from your dog being allergic to peanuts or reacting to one or more ingredients in peanut butter, such as xylitol. Sometimes allergies will result in facial swelling, skin reactions, anaphylactic shock, difficulty breathing, vomiting, hives, and rashes, among other symptoms. Call your vet immediately if your dog is experiencing these symptoms after giving it peanut butter.
We suggest you do an at-home allergy dog allergy test before giving your dog peanut butter to help you find out if your pup is sensitive or intolerant to this food — or any other foods for that matter.
Can Puppies Eat Peanut Butter?
Is peanut butter okay for puppies? Yes, puppies can safely eat peanut butter, just make sure it’s the right kind and in moderation. Dr. Melanie, BVSC MS, says just be sure it does not contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Also, to prevent obesity, treats should make up no more than 10% of the total daily calories.
Can Dogs Eat Human Peanut Butter?
While most regular or “human” peanut butter brands are not safe for dogs, few exceptions exist. Why can’t dogs eat human peanut butter depends on the ingredients.
If you have traditional peanut butter sitting in your pantry and wonder if you should give it to your dog, read the label first and compare it to our unwanted list of dog food ingredients. The human peanut butter you find on the shelves will probably contain preservatives and extra sugar that aren’t great.
Our tip is to find those exceptions that are entirely free of additives and the rest of the harmful ingredients for dogs. For instance, this peanut butter made by Crazy Richard’s (or this one by Teddie) lists just one ingredient, “peanuts.” Your furry friend should be able to enjoy these kinds of human peanut butter safely.
At What Age Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
It’s advised to introduce any kind of treat (peanut butter) during the last weeks of the weaning process in puppies, completed by about seven to eight weeks of age. Veterinarian David Elbeze, DVM, MRCVS, recommends starting with treats at two months of age (8 weeks old).
Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Peanut Butter
There are a few reasons some dogs should abstain from eating peanut butter.
Dogs at risk of pancreatitis should avoid peanut butter altogether. Pancreatitis can be onset by high-fat foods, like peanut butter. Pancreatitis is more common in some breeds such as cavalier King Charles spaniels, Collies, miniature schnauzers, and Yorkshire terriers. If you own any breeds, speak with your veterinarian before giving dogs peanut butter.
If your dog is taking any medication, call your vet to see if it’s prudent to feed him peanut butter. Some health conditions may require your dog to avoid certain foods, and peanut butter can be one of them.
Dog Eating Peanut Butter Video
Watch these dogs eating peanut butter! The joy on their faces is priceless, lol!
Dog & Peanut Butter Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to other frequently asked questions about dogs and peanut butter.
Is Peanut Butter Safe For Dogs? — Conclusion
Can dogs eat peanut butter safely? Yes, peanut butter is safe for dogs as long as you pick the correct type of peanut butter that doesn’t have all the harmful ingredients that may cause harm to your pet!
We put a lot of effort and time into researching everything about peanut butter and dogs because, as dog parents, we know how important keeping our dogs safe is.